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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  April 27, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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93% of you said no. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. tomorrow night i'll be emceeing the l.a. urban league. really looking forward to it. the commander in chief destroys the vulgarian in chief. >> i was born in hawaii august 4th, 1961. >> the president humiliates donald trump with his birth certificate. >> additional information today about the site of my birth. on the internet for everybody to see. >> the trump card, as you will, was always in the president's hand. >> they're all thanking me for getting the birth certificate. >> and trump didn't know what hit him. >> i'm very proud of myself. >> donald trump did not want to accept the birth certificate that was handed to him today by an nbc producer. >> sir, have you taken a look at
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the birth certificate? >> no, i haven't. >> do you want to take a look at it? >> he didn't even want to look at. >> it his big lie is exposed so he tries another attack. he launched another dog whistle. >> how does he get into harvard? >> he's saying to you it's only by virtue of affirmative action that the man got into harvard. >> if this were a white president, this whole issue would never -- >> he looks stupid right now. he looked stupid before. he looked stupid from the very beginning. >> say you know this is racist. 9,000 people say, oh, no, you're just playing the race card. you know what, i'm playing the damn card now. >> trump won't apologize, but what about other republicans. >> let me focus on speaker boehner's response to this. >> a statement from speaker boehner's spokesman, michael steele. he said, quote, this has long been a settled issue. >> that's not the case. >> the state of hawaii has said that he was born there. that's good enough for me. >> i take the president at his word.
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>> i accept him at his word. >> i think the president is the citizen of the united states. >> donald trump is really being treated unfairly. >> the first birther will join me and i'll give her the chance to apologize to the president of the united states. >> both parents have to be u.s. citizens. his father was never a u.s. citizen. >> they have more theories than we can ever wrap our minds around. >> we've got better stuff to do. i've got better stuff to do. >> that's what should settle it. >> good evening from new york. nbc has created a monster. and it is called donald trump. >> david, you're fired. mark, you're fired. richard, you're fired. latoya, you're fired. and gary, you're fired. >> donald trump brought his relentless campaign of hatred of president barack obama to new hampshire today where he was asked by a reporter why he has
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not announced he is running for president. trump knows that when he announces he is not running for president, the news media will disappear from his doorstep. trump needs media attention the way the rest of us need air to breathe. he will obviously say and do anything to get media attention. he always has and always will. being the star of an nbc fake reality show is not enough attention for donald trump. but that's all he will be the day he announces he's not running for president. he will be forced to retake his place at the bottom of the celebrity pile with snooki and "the situation." so what does trump say today when faced with increasing reporters' impatience about why he has not announced he is a candidate for president. he answered that question in new hampshire. >> here's the problem. i hate saying it because it
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sounds trivial. but i have a very, very successful show on television. the number one show on nbc. a show that even "the new york times" yesterday said is a very, very successful show. i have a show called "celebrity apprentice." i cannot announce until that show is over. i just can't do it. i'd love to do it, but i can't do it. when the show is over -- let me explain. when the show is over and the finale will be on may 22nd. when the show is over, i will then be free to announce. i think you will be surprised at a number of things but i think you will be surprised at what my announcement is. >> well, he's right that it does sound trivial that an nbc fake reality show is the reason someone cannot announce a candidacy for president of the united states. it is also not true. trump could have announced today that he's going to run for president and nbc could continue to run his show without having
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to give equal time to other candidates for president. because if trump said today that he was going to run for president, he would not automatically become a legally qualified candidate until he filed the legally required candidacy papers. he could wait for weeks or months to file those papers after simply saying he's going to run for president. only a legally qualified candidate can provoke equal time claims on a network. but candidates appearing on entertainment shows never provoke equal time claims. "saturday night live" in this very building has candidates come on all the time without opposing candidates asking for equal time. trump is now hiding behind nbc when asked the single most important question in front of him, are you going to run for president, and nbc is allowing
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him to hide behind nbc. as soon as trump answered that question that way in new hampshire today, hiding behind nbc, all of the political reporters covering that story in new hampshire and washington should have immediately called nbc. there are executives at nbc, both here in new york and in burbank, who shall for this hour anyway remain nameless who know whether donald trump is already committed to appearing on his fake reality show next season. if donald trump has committed to do that, he is obviously not running for president. and all of this, every bit of it, is as fake as donald's fake reality show where he pretends to fire some very sad people. those nbc executives should not be allowed to survive another day of involuntary entanglement in the trump hatred campaign without being asked everything
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they know about donald trump's professional commitments and performance obligations to nbc. that now is important news. nbc will announce its full schedule for the coming season in new york on monday, may 16th, but they don't have to wait until monday, may 16th, to tell us what is going to happen to donald trump's fake reality show, and donald trump's personal employment with nbc. they know the answer to that now. the reason they have remained unmolested by reporters so far is because political reporters are not used to calling up hollywood executives, in this case burbank executives, to find out what's going to happen next to the in the presidential campaign. political reporters have no idea
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how and when a broadcast network assembles its entertainment broadcast schedule. "the new york times" got interested in this question recently and asked nbc executives who to make of a trump for president campaign. the response from one nbc senior executive was, quote, this is donald being donald, end quote. according to "the new york times" that executive asked not to be identified to avoid any conflict with mr. trump. nbc can no longer avoid any conflict with mr. trump. nbc has a conflict with mr. trump. nbc has created a monster who is using his nbc fame to spew hatred, wreaking with racist overtones and undertones about the president of the united states. nbc can no longer stand idly by, not for one more day. the nbc entertainment division
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could not possibly have created a worse conflict with the nbc news division. the nbc entertainment division is now in possession of news that the nbc news division would like to have. an nbc paid performer, the most deranged ego maniac of the history of the nbc entertainment division has spewed lies to the point where he provoked this. >> as many of you have been briefed, we provided additional information today about the site of my birth. now, this issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now. i think it started during the campaign. and i have to say that over the
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last two and a half years, i have watched with bemusement, i've been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going. we've had every official in hawaii, democrat and republican, every news outlet that has investigated this confirm that, yes, in fact i was born in hawaii august 4th, 1961. >> nbc news was forced to break into nbc's scheduled programming to carry the president's news conference live. msnbc was obviously ready to cover the president's news conference live, that's what we do here, as were other news networks, but we all had to cutaway from live coverage of nbc's biggest embarrassment in history talking to reporters in new hampshire. in the president's brief appearance before the cameras today, he complained about how much the birth certificate story has distracted from washington's
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and the media's ability to focus on the important issues of the day. he then said this. >> we're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. >> the carnival barker he's talking about is an nbc employee. that leaves nbc the following options. one, simply say what most of america is dying to hear and say it now. donald trump, you're fired. two, order the nbc employee, the carnival barker in question, to shut up. or, three, and this is the easiest one for nbc to do. nbc has absolutely no excuse left for not doing this, simply reveal everything that nbc knows about donald trump's commitments and plan for continued employment with nbc and reveal
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it tonight, immediately. it is now 12 minutes after 5:00 p.m. in burbank, california, where the executives who know the truth are all still in their offices. so are the people who write their press releases. the ones who wrote the press releases that have already said "30 rock" is coming back for another season, "the community" is coming back for another another, "parks and recreation" is coming back for another season. they put out those press releases a month ago. a month before that they told us "the biggest loser" is coming back for another season. you must now tonight before you leave your offices in burbank tell us if donald trump is coming back to work at nbc for another season. that is important news.
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every hour of silence that ticks away with nbc entertainment executives in burbank continuing to live in fear, as "the new york times" put it, of any conflict with mr. trump must from this point forward be counted as an hour in which those nbc entertainment executives will have become complicit in the ugliest campaign of the television age, a campaign in which a vulgar nbc performer has become the sleazy front man of a campaign to legitimize hatred and racism. in his desperation today, trump turned from attacking one man's birth certificate to actually trying to undermine the
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acceptance of the academic credentials of not just barack obama, but of african-americans generally. he says to america in effect how could this guy, obama, get into better universities than i did? and he suggests something unfair happened there. he doesn't use the words "affirmative action," not yet. in fact he doesn't say anything about why he thinks barack obama did not deserve admission to columbia university or harvard law school. what the racists hear when he says that and what donald trump knows the racists hear when he says that is how did this black man get into those schools. he's trying to tell people that there was no legitimate way for barack obama to get into those schools. donald trump, who has needed a co-author to turn out every one of his books, has insisted that it was impossible for barack obama to write his own books.
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why? what would make barack obama incapable of writing his own memoirs? what is it about him that would explain why he couldn't put such good prose as appears in the pages of the obama books together in a sentence? what is it trump sees in barack obama that requires trump to deny barack obama's intellectual achievement? and who else does he see that in? should we now doubt michelle obama's qualifications for admission to princeton? trump complains that he has rich friends with rich kids who are smart with good grades and s.a.t. scores and they can't get into harvard. and he suggests there is something rigged in barack obama's favor, that somehow allowed him to get into harvard, that there's something wrong happening here. okay, well, i got into harvard too. in fact it was the only college
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i applied, to so i can't speak to anywhere else. but as long as trump is harping on harvard, as long as he's obsessed with harvard, a place he knows nothing about, he should know that when i got to harvard there were plenty of students with better board scores and better grades than i had. and i know donald will never believe this, but there were black students there who came from much more educationally challenged backgrounds than i did who had better grades and better s.a.t. scores than i did and they got better grades at harvard than i did. david remnick, who has written the biography of barack obama and who will join me later wrote today "what trump has done is a conscious form of race baiting, of fear mongering." the time has come to appeal to the fundamental decency of nbc entertainment executives. i know some of these people. i know they have that decency. you must tell us now everything you know about donald trump's
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plans, and you must tell us tonight. and don't ever, ever again dare to tell us that this is donald being donald. ♪
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republicans now realize that donald trump has stained the entire republican party, and some of them want to pretend they have never given aid and comfort to the obama haters. jonathan capehart and john join me to discuss the politics of trump versus obama. later, i'll give the original birther the chance to come on this show and rewrite herself and apologize to the president of the united states. ♪
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for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to have you taken a look and what do you think? >> i'm really proud that i was able to get him to do something he should have done a long time ago. he should have done that a long time ago. >> sir, have you taken a look at the birth certificate? >> no, i haven't. >> do you want to take a look at it? >> okay, thank you. >> that was donald trump afraid to even look at the proof of his idiocy when an nbc news producer tried to show it to him. today former bush speechwriter david frumm posed the most important question as to what trump has done to the republican party. he wrote "any last lingering doubts that maybe, perhaps, a pregnant stanley anne dunham in the summer of 1961 boarded a
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propeller plane from honolulu to los angeles and then from los angeles to new york city and then from new york city to gander and then from gander to london, then from london to nairobi and then repeated the trip backward a few weeks later all so that her baby could acquire kenyan nationality, those doubts are definitively squelched as they should have been three years ago. now, the more haunting question. how did this poisonous and not very subtly racist allegation get such a grip on our conservative movement and our republican party?" joining me now msnbc contributor, jonathan capehart and msnbc political analyst jonathan alter, also the author of "the promise, president obama year one." gentlemen, thank you for joining us. i want to show you a bit more of what president obama said this morning. let's listen to this. >> we do not have time for this kind of silliness. we've got better stuff to do.
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i've got better stuff to do. we've got big problems to solve, and i'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them. not on this. >> jonathan capehart, did the white house believe they had to do this today, they had to get the president out there, produce the birth certificate, in order to get the focus back on the big problems? >> well, there are two things. yes, the white house felt that it was important to do this, to move on to more serious subjects. but also the president was just plain and simple frustrated. frustrated by the fact that this distraction, as he called it, was crowding out more serious issues but also just what it was doing to him. i mean the idea that the president of the united states is being hounded by people who even when they brought it up in 2008 were considered fringe are now the mainstream of the republican party, and i feel
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comfortable saying that when the latest poll shows that about 45% of people who identified themselves as republican said they questioned whether the president of the united states was indeed an american. >> jonathan alter, to that point that jonathan just made about the 45%, at some point were the polls in effect telling the white house this controversy to the extent that it exists out there is good for us, it's crazy, people recognize it's crazy. it's off in a corner of our politics where the crazy people are. did something happen in the polls to make the white house think, no, this has moved. it's moved out of the crazy corner and it's moving toward us in a way that we have to stop. >> no, i don't actually think that's what happened. i think this has always been advantageous for the president because it marginalizes the republican party. you know, if he was really just looking out for his own political self-interests he wouldn't have done what he did today. but i think as jonathan pointed out, this is a guy who hates what he calls petty distractions. you might recall during the
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pennsylvania primary in 2008, he felt that hillary clinton had gotten involved in a series of distractions that were getting them off the serious issues. so in some ways, you know, they waited for a while to see who would eat this garbage and it turned out more and more republicans were willing to do it and marginalize themselves. but at a certain point when you're talking about the debt limit, the possible default of the united states, he really wanted to refocus the political argument. but what's fascinating to me is what you were talking about earlier, that i live up in the new york area and we've known for years that donald trump was a bully and a fool. but we've only reasonly learned that he's also a racist and now we know that he's a dupe, a sap and willing to believe the most ridiculous hoax stories. he's been, you know, fooled. his counterattack today is kind
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of distracted attention by kind of ramping up the racism. he's distracting attention from the fact that he got taken by some very, very film see conspiracy stories. >> jonathan capehart, talk to us about the racial component of this controversy, and how you think that may have ultimately landed on barack obama. here he is bringing up a family, he's got two black children and his very legitimacy is being publicly attacked, the very essence of who he is is being questioned and publicly attacked. was he standing up for more than just himself today? >> well, yes. to be quite honest, a piece that i'm working on for tomorrow is going to delve into the fact and i've seen it on twitter as well from other people, african-americans in particular, who are wounded by what happened today, wounded by donald trump's press conference and wounded by seeing the president of the united states, who happens to be
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african-american, who has achieved the greatest job in the world, has had the best education to this day still having his qualifications questioned by someone who is -- who doesn't even measure up. for a lot of african-americans and for myself in particular, it's really hard in 2011 to know that you can work hard, play by the rules, achieve great, great things, and i'm talking about the president of the united states, and still have people look at you as less than, look at you as not deserving, looking at you as unqualified, despite the fact that there is evidence aplenty that you are indeed qualified, that you are indeed legitimate, that you are indeed right to lead. >> jonathan capehart, just to stay with this as we go out, does the challenge of his admissibility to these elite universities, but when he gets to harvard law school, the most elite spot he ends up in in the educational ladder, he excels within the student body, and he
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gets to the top of the student body. he proves himself as a student, and what admissions committees are trying to do is simply predict who's going to work out best here. >> right. >> and you can have some people with higher scores who turn out not to perform as well as people with lower schools. it seems to me the admissions committee bet exactly right on barack obama, that he was going to excel. you're left here today with someone that got to be president of the harvard law review and is being challenged on his academic achievement and it leaves me feeling what could the man possibly have done in his life to get beyond a challenge of his academic achievement? >> well, you know, lawrence, this is something that plenty of african-americans have to put up with every day. they just don't put up with it on the global scale that president obama has to put up with it.
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you know, i went to carleton college. i remember -- in minnesota. i remember when my s.a.t. scores came back and i almost cried because my s.a.t. scores were so incredibly low. i thought for sure you wasn't going to go to college, even though my course work, my grades were as, b plusses, but my s.a.t. scores, those very important results, weren't good enough, i thought. but carlton, as harvard took a chance on president barack obama, carlton took a chance on me and because of that i get to talk to you now. but if admissions offices and other people don't take those chances and listen to idiots like donald trump, then we'll be poorer as a nation. >> guys, i'm sorry we don't have more time for this, we've got to go. i tell you right now, harvard college took a chance on my s.a.t. scores too. >> obama's were high, so the whole thing is ridiculous. >> we'll find out more later. thank you both very much for joining me tonight. coming up, after striking out on the president's birth certificate, donald trump is now attacking barack obama's education credentials. is he really trying to undermine
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the academic achievements of all african-americans? would he go that far? and while all of this was happening, republicans maintained their threats to destroy the global economy by not raising the debt ceiling. congressman barney frank will be here. ooh, a brainteaser. how can expedia now save me even more on my hotel? well, hotels know they can't fill every room every day. like this one. and this one. and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these: unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. my brain didn't even break a sweat. where you book matters. expedia.
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i'm already leading the polls and i'm not running. >> cnn came up with a poll that we're even and i haven't even announced. >> well, i'm leading every poll.
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>> more lies today to correct from donald trump. first of all, cnn says they conducted no such poll, but in six polls that were conducted, barack obama is ahead by an average of 13 points, according to real clear coming up, since donald trump can no longer lie about where the president is born, he is trying another attack that may be even more poisonous. and she's the dentist who was the original birther. i'll give her the chance to rewrite her conspiracy theories on this show with a simple apology to the president. [ horn ] now we're hittin' the road with the proglide challenge. tall guy -- come on up here! so which razor do you use? the mach3 turbo.
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>> my pleasure. >> i want you to listen to something donald trump said in new hampshire today. >> also my pleasure. >> the word is, according to what i've read, that he was a terrible student when he went to occidental. he then gets to columbia. he then gets to harvard. i heard at columbia, he wasn't a very good student. he then gets to harvard. how did he get into harvard if you're not a good student? >> donald says this is according to what he has read. i have read your book and i did not read that in your book. >> no, you didn't. >> clear this up for us. >> what can i say, after all. we need to call this by its proper name. we need to call this by its proper name. this is race baiting. this is manipulative in the extreme. while the world burns, while we have all kinds of problems in
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this country, barack obama is being slandered by the likes of donald trump, who one would have thought would know better. so we've gone from the birther issue, where we already had documentation, by the way, it's not today was the first time there was a document. and out of sheer frustration, the white house released a second document. this seems to have satisfied mr. trump temporarily. he called himself very proud of himself about this. i can't see why he's proud of himself. it's hate mongering. so now on to the next thing, he was a terrible student, et cetera. he was not a terrible student, he was a pretty good student at occidental. he transferred to columbia and was an even better student and he got into harvard law school. and barack obama himself has discussed the fact that affirmative action may have played some role in getting into harvard law and at harvard law he did brilliantly well. in fact he became -- got the highest prize that you can get at harvard law. he became the president of the
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harvard law review. and by every description in my reporting, something that donald trump doesn't bother to do, either read or do his own reporting, he was terrific at it. as both an editor, as a skilliator, as a student in the classroom. probably the foremost constitutional law professor in this country described him as unprecedentedly brilliant, the best research assistant he's ever had. but donald trump is an overprivileged buffoon who is not out to run for president but to raise his ratings to attract attention. really you can't say anything bad about him that hasn't been said about him for the last 30 years. he's immune to insult and jokes and remarks about his hair and all the rest. what else is there to say? he wants attention, and he got it. >> and he's trafficking in an area where he believes all he has to do is say how did this guy get into harvard and you cut to the picture of the black man, and he doesn't have to say anything more. >> the tragedy is that he's
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right. there are many myths about barack obama and you can just keep skipping from one stone to another. for example, there are people out there that believe, and this has been repeated on rush limbaugh and elsewhere, there are people that believe that barack obama was incapable of writing the first book that he did as a young man, quite a good book, and that in fact it was written by a ghost writer named bill ayers. so this touches on all things. this has a historical precedent in this country. frederick douglas was not able to publish his own autobiography without affixing to it a letter from the great abolitionist william lloyd garrison. every edition you get has this letter from william lloyd garrison telling the white audiences this black guy was not only literate, but literate enough to write a masterpiece because it couldn't be believed. two centuries later we have this same kind of atmosphere in which
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the authenticity and the biography and the life of a man, whatever you may think of him politically, is in doubt. why? the reason is very simple. for political battle. because it's not enough to battle health care or all the various issues that obama is. you have to undermine his credibility, his legitimacy as a human being. and what's their most radical thing about barack obama? not his policies, the fact that he is a black man, the first african-american elected to the presidency, sitting in the oval office. so how do you go about smearing him? well, we've been watching this now for three years. >> it seems to me that this academic and intellectual challenge to obama that trump wants to present rhetorically, that black student that you met at princeton, how did she get there? how did any of these people get there? he seems to be saying my rich white friends have kids not
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getting into harvard and these people are, there must be something wrong. >> yes, yes, one weeps. >> david, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me. coming up, lawyer and dentist orly taitz has dedicated more than two years of the 24 years she's lived in the united states to proving that president obama was not born in hawaii. next, i will ask her if she's ready to apologize to the president. [ banker ] mike and brenda found a house that they really wanted. it was in my sister's neighborhood. i told you it was perfect for you guys. literally across the street from her sister. [ banker ] but someone else bought it before they could get their offer together. we really missed a great opportunity -- dodged a bullet there. [ banker ] so we talked to them about the wells fargo priority buyer preapproval. it lets people know that you are a serious buyer because you've been credit-approved. we got everything in order so that we can move on the next place we found. which was clear on the other side of town. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. with you when you're ready to move.
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taitz got to see the president's long form birth certificate, and the president himself addressing her concerns in a white house briefing. >> i know that there's going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. but i'm speaking to the vast majority of the american people as well as to the press. >> orly taitz once said even if i have to be a punching bag, it is still better than listening to the silence from the mainstream media. well, the mainstream media is not silent about the president's birth certificate, and today is orly taitz' day. her 15th minute of fame has arrived. the story of the president's birth certificate is now over. this is her first and last chance to discuss this subject on this program. she will now have the opportunity to rewrite three years of lies with a simple apology.
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joining me now is orly taitz. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> i assume you've had a chance to look at the president's birth certificate that was released today? >> yes. >> okay. now, there is now, no longer, not an inch of room for any sane doubt about the time and the place of barack obama's birth or his parentage or the fact that he is a natural born citizen of the united states of america. are you now ready to apologize for the crusade that you have mounted against those simple truths? >> well, i hope i will have -- i hope i will have time to respond which i did not have an opportunity to do before. and i believe that obama's statement today is nothing but a preemptive strike. we do have a court hearing coming monday morning at 9:00 in
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the ninth circuit court of appeals and the reason he is talking about this issue, if i can have a closeup, is because at this hearing and two other hearings, i'm providing documents -- can i have a closeup, please, sir, sir. >> tell us what the document is. >> this is barack obama's. can you do a closeup. >> tell us what the document is. >> this is his selective service agreement. >> i want you to talk about the birth certificate that you saw today. i want you to -- the selective service has nothing to do with proving his citizenship. >> absolutely -- >> i want you to talk about the birth certificate you saw today for the first time in your life. do you accept the veracity of the birth certificate you saw today for the first time in your life? >> okay. first of all -- >> yes or no on the birth certificate? is that his birth certificate? do you accept that? >> okay. are you going to let me speak? >> no, i am not going to let you
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talk about anything -- listen, you have to tell me whether you accept the truth of that birth certificate. >> let me respond. barack obama is committing social security fraud. which is a felony. anybody else will be sitting -- >> no, you're not going to talk about your nonsense. i want you to talk about the thing you've never seen before in your life. you begged for this. you begged for this document. you got this document. talk about the document that entered your life today and proved that you were a liar. talk about that document. >> barack obama is a liar. >> was he born in hawaii, according -- was he born in hawaii according to the birth certificate? >> can you behave like a human being? this is barack obama's -- social security verification. >> so you are coming on this show and you're not going to talk about his birth certificate? orly taitz, are you going to
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talk about his birth certificate? >> a social security number that barack obama is using -- >> get her out of here, get her off this show. get out. if you're not going to talk about the birth certificate, orly taitz, go home, you're fired, go play with donald trump. look, she's crazy. i invited a crazy person on the show to see if a crazy person faced with the thing that the crazy person was trying to get for two and a half years could say something responsive, something human to the document that was released today, that she's never seen before in her life and she wants to play with all of her other kids' toys and other crazy documents. i did not expect this to go this way. i thought she was going to address the birth certificate. we were told she was going to address the birth certificate. she's afraid to address the birth certificate obviously. great. this just gives us more time for barney frank. we'll be right back with barney frank.
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the chair of the federal reserve gave his first press conference ever today, but washington and we in the news media spent our time laser focused on two other press conferences, one by donald trump where he claimed to be proud by having been proven completely wrong about the president and his birth certificate and then another one by the president where he discussed his birth certificate and he explained that getting the birth certificate out there and getting that controversy dealt with will allow him to get back to the real business of being president and dealing with the real problems facing this country. joining me now, ranking member of the house financial services committee, massachusetts democratic congressman barney frank. thank you very much for joining me tonight, congressman frank. >> glad to be here. >> did it help that the president dealt with this birth certificate issue today so that, as he said, he could get back to working on the people's business?
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not that he wasn't working on it, but that the media and we were all focused on something else and perhaps congress in some ways was losing focus because of this controversy? >> well, congress wasn't, but i hope it will help. i don't expect it to have any effect on donald trump or that odd woman you just had on. i will say i was impressed to see that michele bachmann acknowledged the error, but it may help the press get away from this notion that whenever anybody says anything, no matter how outlandish, you have to kind of go down the middle yes or no. and i think there has been a predisposition on the part of the media to give credence to nonsense as long as it's of the negative side. what troubles me about this is not reaffirmation that trump is not a serious human being in terms of his intellect or this strange woman you just had on. my problem is the extent to which what i would have hoped would have been respectable mainstream republicans have been playing to this. i was driving back from a meeting, a credit union in
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massachusetts a week ago listening on the radio to a republican who was a serious leader of the conservative republicans in iowa defending trump and saying we're glad trump is out there because we want someone who confront obama. and it really is shameful that the supposedly responsible leadership of the republican party has not repudiated him. i'll give you an analogy. people say, well, what would you have done? years ago i had people on the left claiming that george bush was complicit in 9/11, a despicable inaccurate argument. and i got into a number of very loud arguments with people who made that claim, i thought it was wrong. so the extent to which republicans who knew this was nonsense were willing to encourage it because they thought it helped create some doubts about the president's legitimacy, that was very troubling to me. there's also -- you know, i go back to another case. when lisa murkowski overturned sarah palin's effort to get rid
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of the senator from alaska and sarah palin tried to defeat her, senator murkowski didn't take it too seriously, she came back and won the write-in. that's hard enough if your name is smith. when your name is murkowski, that's very impressive. and the literacy rate in alaska is obviously quite high. but what you got from some of the tea party people, many of them, was trying to devalue the process. this is what they do with obama. these people apparently can't take losing a fair election legitimately, they have to find ways to undermine the election results. they tried to do it to senator murkowski because of spelling errors. they tried to do it here. also, as i said, i am disappointed to see the republican leadership fail to decisively repudiate trump and to hear republicans talking about, well, what a contribution he's making to their debate. >> congressman frank, i was hoping we were going to get some time to get to the debt ceiling and what the republicans are really doing there, but we're


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